Friday, January 01, 2010

Traditional New Years Day Grape Pruning

Each year, I prune grapevines on New Year's Day. It's a good way to remember to do it. Plus, I don't have to remember "It seemed to work last year, but when did I do it?". Despite aches and pains, I pruned. Carefully.

Observations this year: There are a lot more dead canes and spurs than I've seen before. Must be the record cold in November - down to 12 degrees, several days. Venus appears the most susceptable, but all varieties had some dieback.

For the most part, I kept to the spur method, leaving new stems with 2 buds past the initial growth. Last year there were too many grapes, so I thinned some spurs to 1 to 2 new stems. In addition, I removed some larger branches from Canadice, which I don't like as much, and left a new cane from Venus, which I like better, to fill in. I also left 2 replacement canes on Interlaken, which I like a lot; same for Price - my favorite of all. On Price, I may have left too many spurs, but it started raining. Plus, Price clusters are smaller, so more spurs may be a good idea.

The larger grape arbor, before pruning. Canadice on left, Interlaken on right, and Venus on left, in back.

Grape arbor after pruning. Some of the canes were twice my height, so 12 feet of growth. Without major pruning, they would quickly get out of hand.

Price grape, before pruning.

Price grape, after pruning. I left a couple of canes as well, in case too many spurs died.

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